National news: Fine for woman who told ambulance crew not to park across her drive and swore at paramedic
A woman who verbally abused paramedics and left a foul-mouthed note on their ambulance has admitted a public order offence at court.
Kirsty Sharman, aged 26, also accepted leaving a handwritten message on the 999 vehicle which said she did not care "if the whole street collapsed."
Paramedics were dealing with a 999 call in her street in Stoke on Trent on Sunday.
At North Staffordshire Justice Centre today, the chairman of the magistrates bench said it was an "absolutely despicable incident".
The ambulance crew was responding to a next door neighbour's emergency call to help his wife, who was "experiencing breathing difficulties", prosecutor Liz Ryder told magistrates.
She said there had been "ongoing difficulties" between Sharman and her neighbours, leading to a restraining order being issued against her in January.
Miss Ryder said: "A neighbour saw that note being deposited by the defendant and they took it from the rear windscreen and posted it back through the defendant's address, having torn it apart."
During the incident, Sharman also went into the street and swore at a paramedic, telling him to move the ambulance.
Sentencing, the chairman of the magistrates Christopher Rushton told her: "This was an absolutely despicable incident.
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"The fact it was directed at an ambulance crew providing a public service to a sick person. That crew should not be subject to actions such as these."
Sharman was fined £120 and was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £30 and £135 costs.
Through her solicitor, Hayley Keegan, Sharman offered her "most sincere apologies to the ambulance staff".
She was arrested after a social media plea by West Midlands Ambulance Service staff who said their colleagues found the note on the back windscreen of a vehicle.
The ambulance service welcomed the outcome of the "unpleasant case".
A spokesman said: "We hope that this case will serve as a warning to others that abusing our staff is not acceptable.
"Our staff will only block roads or park in front of drives if absolutely necessary in the interests of patient care. In this case, they were parked at the side of the road and were not blocking a driveway."
Chief Inspector John Owen, from Staffordshire Police, said: "This type of behaviour cannot be tolerated, and I know my view is supported by 99 per cent of our community."
A separate charge of breaching a restraining order was withdrawn by the prosecution.